Archive for Rated PG-13

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PodCastle 752: The Music on the Hill

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


“Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue” advert voiced, scored, and produced by Eric Valdes.

 

The Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue is an expansion book for the 5th edition of the world’s most litigious roleplaying game, about a city ruled by a council of bizarre and fantastical aristocrats: The people-eating ghouls of the Grave Society, the brutal, feudal aristocrats of the Galloway Orcs, the austere and sinister Church of the Blood Pentarchy, the fey-aligned circus of the Carnival Occultus, and the cruel dark elves of House Evnesh. Find out what they’re up to and how you can stab them in the back by looking for the Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue on Kickstarter now or DriveThruRPG in the future.

Previous books in the series can be found here: https://chamomilehasa.blog/chamomile-has-adventures


The Music on the Hill

by Saki

 

Sylvia Seltoun ate her breakfast in the morning-room at Yessney with a pleasant sense of ultimate victory, such as a fervent Ironside might have permitted himself on the morrow of Worcester fight. She was scarcely pugnacious by temperament, but belonged to that more successful class of fighters who are pugnacious by circumstance. Fate had willed that her life should be occupied with a series of small struggles, usually with the odds slightly against her, and usually she had just managed to come through winning. And now she felt that she had brought her hardest and certainly her most important struggle to a successful issue. To have married Mortimer Seltoun, “Dead Mortimer” as his more intimate enemies called him, in the teeth of the cold hostility of his family, and in spite of his unaffected indifference to women, was indeed an achievement that had needed some determination and adroitness to carry through; yesterday she had brought her victory to its concluding stage by wrenching her husband away from Town and its group of satellite watering-places and “settling him down,” in the vocabulary of her kind, in this remote wood-girt manor farm which was his country house.

“You will never get Mortimer to go,” his mother had said carpingly, “but if he once goes he’ll stay; Yessney throws almost as much a spell over him as Town does. One can understand what holds him to Town, but Yessney . . . ” and the dowager had shrugged her shoulders.

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 751: Flash Fiction Extravaganza – Mortality

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


“Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue” advert voiced, scored, and produced by Eric Valdes.

 

The Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue is an expansion book for the 5th edition of the world’s most litigious roleplaying game, about a city ruled by a council of bizarre and fantastical aristocrats: The people-eating ghouls of the Grave Society, the brutal, feudal aristocrats of the Galloway Orcs, the austere and sinister Church of the Blood Pentarchy, the fey-aligned circus of the Carnival Occultus, and the cruel dark elves of House Evnesh. Find out what they’re up to and how you can stab them in the back by looking for the Traveler’s Guide to the City of Intrigue on Kickstarter now or DriveThruRPG in the future.

Previous books in the series can be found here: https://chamomilehasa.blog/chamomile-has-adventures


The Stars That Fall

by Samantha Murray

 

When Sara asks me if I want to go doom-spotting I say yes. Of course I say yes. The Edge Lookout is dark and rocky and romantic, and I usually say yes to anything Sara suggests. And I’ve been addicted to doom-hunting ever since I was nine and got my first telescope.

“Why do you need to see it? You know it’s up there,” Ibu says, as I lug my viewing gear out to the car. All of my aunt’s once-dark hair is grey now.

“It’s meant to be lucky, if you find it,” I tell her.

“Mmpffh, lucky,” she says in her dry voice. Ibu does not believe in luck, only unluck.

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 750: We Are All of Us

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


We Are All of Us

by Deborah L. Davitt

 

They wore white armor, sleek and chitinous — not the white of chalk, but the white of bone peeking through the skin of a mummy. The white of a grub writhing in black river soil. They dwelled in the deep desert, where few of the Folk dared to tread, in cities carved from the bones of the earth. No one knew much about them, yet everyone knew everything that they needed to know. That they crawled into rock-cut tombs to devour the dead. That their cities wended for miles under the earth, and that they could dig up into a house at night to defile the living.

As blue first-sun set, and red second-sun rose, Suvan went out into her fields. Shared with her husband Petemet once, their lands lay at the periphery of the village, as far from the River as the canals could reach. Here, the black soil brought by the floods each year waned into the silver sand of the desert, and they’d wrested crops from it each year by dint of back-breaking labor. The tales of the priests spoke of a time when the devices of the gods and ancestors, carried through the void between the stars, had broken earth and sown seed, bringing plenty and ease to all.

Suvan had never known anything but ceaseless toil.
(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 749: Sungrass Girl

Show Notes

Rated PG-13

 

The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.


Sungrass Girl

by Uchechukwu Nwaka

 

My first memory of the Light is her face. Her round eyes that swelled in curious wonder and innocent inquisition. I remember the way the light from the incandescent bulb fell on her face, outlining her dark skin in paint strokes of shimmering gold that twinkled right into her large doe eyes. Her smile was warm milk, her laughter the essence of happiness. Her hands — they were so small then, yet so calloused — reached under my forelimbs and she lifted me into the sky with an ebullition of glee so intoxicating, it reverberates through my bones till this day.

“An mmụọ!” she cried. The pitch did not startle me. Rather, it was joy lit in the pits of my gut. “Mama! Papa! An mmụọ!”

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 745: A Beautiful Memory

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.


A Beautiful Memory

by Shannon Peavey

 

On Thursday, a windsor-knotted businessman paid Anna three times her normal asking price for a quartet of thought-birds. She normally sold two at a time, because their growth was so slow. But he insisted. A bird of each flavor: contentment, melancholy, joy, fury.

“A few of the guys at work have taken up competitive birdsong,” he told her as he wrote the check. He had sharp breath, with the whisper of a three-martini lunch. “But they’re just using finches or sparrows. This one guy’s got a bunch of pigeons. Seriously.”

“I see,” Anna said, and stroked the melancholy bird’s head with one finger. It let out a sad little trill.

“So what do these things eat, anyway?”

“Seeds,” she said. “They’re just birds.”

She gave him the same form she gave all new customers — with a list of proper birdfoods and signs of good health: the dos and do-nots of birdkeeping. She didn’t tell him that holding the melancholy bird would make him feel like his heart would break, or that listening to the joyous bird could induce midlife crises. If he’d come to her, he should already know.

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PodCastle 744: Double Feature! I Will You Back to Time and Space; The Ocean-Eyed Boy

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

 

Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.


I Will You Back to Time and Space

by Dafydd McKimm

 

You are ten years unborn on the evening of the day that will soon become known as G-day. I am washing dishes in the kitchen of our newly bought terrace, cleaning the residue of dinner from our finest boot-sale porcelain. I bring two glasses of wine over to the sofa, where your mother is yawning contentedly, and touch my glass gently to hers. The clink sings through the stuffy air.

“Cheers, fellow homeowner,” I say.

Your mother grins, takes a sip of her wine. Then her eyes focus on something behind me. Her glass falls; she screams; and I turn to see them for the first time: two hulking things, arms thick as tree trunks, barrel-chested, those beetle-browed primate eyes focused so intensely on us. I shout, curse, push your mother back, my head ringing like the resounding clink of the wine glasses but an alien moment ago.

Soon enough, we find out the gorillas aren’t just there for the two of us. They’re everywhere, following every living person, and they’re here to stay.

(Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 741: Between The Island and the Deep Blue Sea

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Between The Island and the Deep Blue Sea

By Jaxon Tempest

 

No one knew how the island floated, but everyone knew it shouldn’t.

Four thousand square miles of concrete bones and metal veins, a million people circulating daily, and yet it sat in the middle of the Atlantic like a feather on a still pond. Even those with the most rudimentary understanding of physics would cry bullshit. Everyone had their theories, of course. Some called it an act of God, others a miracle of science, and a small yet loud minority called it a 10G interface meant to hack into their minds as a part of the new world order. When the three clashed, normal family dinners and rail rides to work turned into a three-ring circus of physics, theology and conspiracy theories.

I watched their interactions with a subdued smile. They were wrong, but their commitment to their ideals was adorable.

In rare instances, the three sides of the debate came together — when outside forces got involved. They came in the form of greedy foreigners with deep pockets and silver tongues. The Bahamas was no stranger to such people, even before the sea rose over the islands. They promised investments and jobs and economic boosts, then took all their money and fled the country at the slightest inconvenience.

It wasn’t different now. Instead of exploiting the sun, sand, and sea, they exploited the island’s secret, chased it like a cryptid. They came with cameras, diving equipment, and promises to uncover the mystery. Despite the warnings from the locals, they dove into the tongue of the ocean.

I killed them all. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 740: Beck’s Pest Control and the Case of the Drag Show Downer

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Beck’s Pest Control and the Case of the Drag Show Downer

by Abra Staffin-Wiebe

 

I was sitting at the kitchen table, eating breakfast and arguing with my daughter, when my work phone broke the silence of our discussion.

Not happening, I signed, quickly swallowing my last bite of peanut butter toast so I could talk on the phone. Bedbug infestations are a no-go.

Moooooom, she answered, holding the word for emphasis. You promised!

“Beck’s Pest Control,” I answered my phone. “This is Beck. How can we help you?”

My mind was still on my argument with my daughter. I had promised, a month ago. You can’t break promises to kids, not even when they ambush you in a moment of weakness. And I confess, I was proud of her grasp of strategy.

Annie’s a smart, observant girl. She waited until I came back from a rough call. She ran me a bubble bath. She let me soak away the last traces of puke and ectoplasm. She waited until I settled into my armchair with a cup of hot chocolate, also provided by her. Then she’d sprung her request on me.

“Yeah,” a male voice answered me. “José Hernández said you might be able to . . . fix my problem?”

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PodCastle 737: The Eight Hundred Legs of the Rio-Niterói Bridge

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


The Eight Hundred Legs of the Rio-Niterói Bridge

by Renan Bernardo

 

Have you seen pictures of the unfinished Presidente Costa e Silva Bridge, with its columns telling stories of falls and drownings like tombstones for the never found and the cemented alive?

I saw many in 1972, soon after Papai vanished during the bridge’s construction, mostly by peering over my mother’s shoulders while she flipped through documents and pictures, sobbing and wondering if some ferryman could’ve rescued Papai. Perhaps a fisherman saw a hand waving desperately for help in the water? How could she be sure without staring into the glazed, distant eyes of a deceased husband? After those days, I convinced myself I’d never look at pictures of the bridge under construction again, those tall columns with their gray, ominous girders jutting out of the stone like the last, frantic gestures of hands begging for help.

Except now, twenty years after the accident, I have pictures of the unfinished bridge scattered over my desk.

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PodCastle 735: The Artists’ Colony

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


The Artists’ Colony

Patrick Freyne

 

Dear ­­­­­­­______,

I think you would love it here. It’s so peaceful and you were always saying, back in the city, that we needed to get away.

So let me describe what I can see from my writing desk. Outside my window I can see a silver lake which is very still. Behind the lake there is a hill that is partly covered with coniferous trees. Above the hill there is a mottled grey sky. The trees on the hill look like they’ve been painted against that sky with vertical dashes of paint and their reflections in the lake look like inverted impressionist renderings of the same scene.

There is no sound. No engines. No construction. No destruction. No children. No birds. (Continue Reading…)